Fifa has banned former executive committee member and ex-Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer from all football related activity for life. Blazer, 70, worked undercover with prosecutors in the United States after pleading guilty to charges of bribery, money laundering and tax evasion. A Fifa statement said Blazer “committed many and various acts of misconduct”.
In May, several Fifa officials were arrested on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering. Overall, 14 people were indicted, with the US justice department alleging bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period. Blazer was the second highest official in Fifa’s North and Central American and Caribbean region (Concacaf) from 1990 to 2011 and also served on Fifa’s executive committee between 1997 and 2013.
In a transcript from a 2013 US hearing, the American pleaded guilty to 10 charges. Blazer admitted that he and others on the executive committee of football’s world governing body agreed to accept bribes in connection with the choice of South Africa as 2010 World Cup hosts. He said he also facilitated bribes over the 1998 event. A document of his agreement with US prosecutors shows Blazer was secretly co-operating with them from December 2011.
The New York Daily News reported in 2014 that Blazer had bugged meetings with Fifa executives at the London 2012 Olympics with a wire device concealed in a key fob. Fifa had suspended its investigation into Blazer because of his “ill health” but reopened it in December 2014, leading to his lifelong ban. In its statement Fifa added: “The decision was taken on the basis of investigations carried out by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee in response to the final report of the Concacaf integrity committee and the latest facts presented by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New Yor”, BBC reports.